"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" (Eoin MacNeill, Phases of Irish History, Dublin, 1919, vi).
Around 1970 the subject of "the Vikings in Ireland" was seen, historiographically, as a non-problem. Scandinavian historians did not deal with Irish history, and except for the casual asides of four or five specialists, there was no particular interest in Ireland as an area in Viking studies. However, during the seventies there was a veritable boom in specialised studies of the Vikings in Ireland. A simple count reveals that during this decade sixty articles and some books of scholarly significance were published, whilst the average formerly never exceeded twenty publications a decade. This growth took place even before the fruits of the Viking excavations in Dublin had matured for publication, something that happened only in the eighties.
Of course, the validity of scholarly debate is not to be judged simply on the basis of a spate o...